MATTHEW STOCKMAN / Getty Photographs through AFP
Prime-ranked Novak Djokovic rallied to defeat Canada’s Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-Three, 6-Four in Saturday’s ATP Western & Southern Open remaining, remaining unbeaten this 12 months solely two days earlier than his first US Open match.
The 33-year-old Serbian star gained his 80th profession title, bettering to 23-Zero in 2020 and 11-Zero all-time in opposition to Raonic, whereas capturing his 35th ATP Masters Collection crown, matching Rafael Nadal’s all-time report.
Djokovic is ready to launch his quest for a fourth US Open title and 18th profession Grand Slam crown in opposition to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 107th-ranked Damir Dzumhur on Monday night time at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The victory provides Djokovic a double profession sweep of all 9 ATP Masters Collection titles whereas Raonic has gone winless in 63 Masters Collection begins.
The US Open tuneup occasion, often performed in Cincinnati, was moved to New York as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and performed inside the identical quarantine bubble on the Nationwide Tennis Heart the place the US Open might be staged.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka gained the WTA title by walkover when Japan’s Naomi Osaka withdrew from the ultimate with a left hamstring damage.
“It is not the way in which we needed it,” mentioned Azarenka. “It is not straightforward occasions on this planet proper now however we’re right here and we’re attempting to do our greatest.”
Within the third set, Raonic broke to steer 2-Zero when Djokovic despatched a forehand lengthy, however Djokovic broke again at love, Raonic netting a backhand on the ultimate level, and broke once more within the fifth recreation, seizing a Three-2 edge when the Canadian netted a forehand.
Djokovic held serve from there to assert the crown after two hours when Raonic netted a forehand.
Raonic, who dropped his serve solely twice this week earlier than the ultimate, took the primary set on an ace after 30 minutes. Djokovic saved a break level within the second recreation on a service winner however Raonic broke by way of within the fourth recreation and Djokovic double faulted away one other break at hand the Canadian a 5-1 lead.
Within the second set, Djokovic received his first break-point probability of the match within the sixth recreation when Raonic despatched a forehand lengthy and capitalized with a backhand crosscourt winner to grab a Four-2 edge. Djokovic then held at love and once more within the ninth recreation to assert the set from Zero-30 when Raonic netted a forehand.
Azarenka took her greatest victory because the 2016 Miami Open and her first since a break to turn into a mom.
“It has been a very long time since I felt like I needed to play and go after each level and I am very grateful for that,” Azarenka mentioned.
“I have been going by way of a whole lot of private issues. I needed to provide myself a chance to strive. I labored actually arduous. I am glad it is paying off.”
The 31-year-old Belrussian captured the 2012 and 2013 Australian Opens and misplaced the identical years within the US Open remaining.
Outcomes from Saturday’s matches on the ATP and WTA Western & Southern Open in New York (x denotes seed):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Milos Raonic (CAN) 1-6, 6-Three, 6-Four
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN x4) walkover